n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - A systematic review of the relationship between parenting styles and children's physical activity

Supplement 2
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Physical activity is an important component of childhood that promotes health and well-being. Parents could play a pivotal role in children's involvement in physical activity by means of their parenting style. The role of parenting styles in children's physical activity is unclear. The aim of this systematic review was to establish the role of parenting styles in children's physical activity. A search was conducted during the month of February 2013 using databases and journals such as Science Direct, Ebscohost (PsyArticles, Medline, Academic Search Complete, SportDiscus and Rehabilitation and Sport Medicine Source), BioMed Central, PubMed, Directory of Open Access Journal (DOAJ) and SAGE Journals for the periods from 2002 to 2012. Two reviewers independently evaluated the methodological quality of the studies reviewed. Eleven articles met the criteria for the inclusion in the review. These studies included six cross-sectional studies, three cohort studies and two that used both cross-sectional and cohort studies. Five of the studies were conducted in USA, two in Iran and one each respectively in Australia, Pacific Island, North East England and Northern Taiwan. The age groups of the participants ranged from birth to adolescence. Four of the studies looked at the parent-child dyad when collecting the required data. This review found that parenting styles were related to the promotion of physical activity. Specifically, the results suggest that the majority of studies found a positive relationship between authoritative parenting styles and physical activity. This study provides a good perspective for better understanding the role of parental relations in the context of postmodern sedentary society.

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